New York City and New York State stand to benefit from last Friday’s announcement by Vice President Joe Biden that Amtrak will be the recipient of the largest single loan in the Department of Transportation’s history — $2.45 billion in federal funds for upgrades to the Northeast Corridor. There’s lots of good news for New Yorkers who frequently travel the NEC via rail up to Boston or down to Washington DC, most significantly that train rides will be faster and more frequent. That’s because Amtrak is purchasing 28 new next-generation high-speed trainsets that will replace the current Acela Express trains.
The first set of new Avelia Liberty trains are expected to enter into revenue service in five years and include an increased capacity of 40 percent more passengers, higher top speeds of up to 160 mph (with track upgrades they could reach 186 mph), tilting technology for safety and efficiency, and increased service from New York — every half-hour to Washington during peak hours and hourly service to Boston.
French company Alstom is designing and building the Avelia Liberty trains. They will be manufactured at Alstom’s Hornell and Rochester, N.Y. facilities. The deal is expected to create 750 jobs across New York State, including 400 at the Alstom plant in Hornell.
“This investment will pay immediate dividends for businesses and travelers from Washington, D.C., to Boston, and the fact that these new trains will be built in Hornell makes this project a win-win,” said U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer. “These New York-made Acela trains will soon be zipping along the Northeast Corridor and — as a regular customer — I can’t wait for my first ride.”
The loan will also be used to make station and platform upgrades to the under-construction Moynihan Station in midtown Manhattan. The new Amtrak station will be located across 8th Avenue from Penn Station in the historic James A. Farley Post Office building. Other stations receiving upgrades are Washington Union Station, New Carrolton Station and Baltimore Penn Station. The loan will also be used to provide track upgrades between the New Carrolton and Baltimore stations.
Via Curbed New York
Images via Amtrak